I was recently invited by my local council to attend group therapy for anyone suffering “climate anxiety”, says Fraser Nelson in The Daily Telegraph. “It was too interesting an invitation to refuse.” A “climate psychologist” listened while attendees explained that they felt “afraid, angry, helpless and guilty”. These feelings are perfectly natural, he said, but can be remedied by “distancing” oneself from all the bad news. Presumably he meant withdrawing from school, where climate gloom is built into the curriculum, and forgoing all TV news, which constantly claims that global warming will be “worse for Europe than Bangladesh” or some such drivel.
What about the good news, of which there is plenty? Britain has cut carbon emissions faster than any G20 country since 2010 – “quite a feat” – bringing our emissions per head to their lowest level since the invention of the traction engine in 1859. The average British household uses a quarter less energy than it did 20 years ago. Our air is cleaner than at any time in living memory – in the past 50 years, harmful nitrogen oxides are down 78% and the pollutant sulphur dioxide is down 98%. There has never been a better time to be alive or to bring children into the world, yet polls show that climate anxiety is “all too real”. We’ve somehow convinced the young to be fearful about a future where they can expect to live a longer, healthier life than any generation before them. Shame on this “one-sided barrage of negativity”. It’s time for “rational eco-optimism”.